San Antonio de Bexar Railroad Company - SABRR

Discussion in 'General' started by SAFN SAAP, Oct 7, 2010.


    SAFN SAAP Member

    Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I am always willing to listen to folks who offer good constructive criticism. I'm not a know it all, and I learn from the smallest to the largest. That being said, yes, I do intend to do a 1:1 and map it out. Just because it works on a computer doesn't mean it will work on the table. I guess that is where the "Gerrying" comes into play.

    I'm working right now on Steve's changes. Presently I am working on the Wye at SA Junction, and will soon be working on changing San Antonio. I'll have a map up shortly.

    Thanks again!

  2. steinjr

    steinjr Member

    Think of it this way: say you have 100 feet of mainline on your layout.

    The layout is 1:87.1 scale. So those 100 feet of mainline on a H0 scale model is equivalent to 870 feet of mainline in reality. A mile is 5280 feet. So our 100 feet of H0 scale track is only the equivalent of about 1/8th of a mile in reality.

    The hardest thing to simulate on a model railroad layout is running for dozens or hundreds of miles. We typically don't even have enough room to model just one small town to scale.

    So we clearly have to be pretty selective about picking just a few highlights we want to model, we have to compress whatever we pick, and we will have to create a lot of our illusion by implying things rather than modeling them outright.

    If we want a journey on our model railroad to last for a while, we will have to provide for something to slow the trains down along the way.

    Say a couple of small towns with stations and double ended sidings where a train can go into the siding to wait for a meeting train. A couple of local industries that can be switched, a team track, and an interchange track.

    We certainly can use the space where we otherwise would have put an impression of a town to create s single set out spur that is used to set out cars with hot boxes (or whatever they called it at the time). But it is not necessarily an efficient use of our *very* limited space.

    So it all boils down to which highlights you want to include, and what impression you are trying to create.

    I am looking forward to see where you are going with Steve's idea - I think that idea has real potential to make a very interesting layout!


    SAFN SAAP Member

    3 Hours worth of trying different combination's of track to make the Wye at SA Junction to work. But it looks like I got it done. I'm about to start on San Antonio, East end. Take a look so far. Please tell me what you think.



    Attached Files:

  4. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Please recheck your math.

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Well, I finished it according to Steve's advice. What do y'all think? Is it too busy? I do like SA Junction and the change to SA Yard. I'm concerned that the SLSF/SP area will be too tight. Please let me know what y'all think.

    Thanks again to everyone for contributing.


    Attached Files:

  6. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Manny, I have been watching in the wings through this whole thread and I am thrilled with your level of passion about your project and the level of support everyone is providing.
    I like the overall look and feel; it is important to recognize that with a relatively small space for a layout that one must not try to do too much in the space available.
    I am a little concerned with the density of track in your most recent design in some areas. By this, I mean to point out that structures, even compressed, take up real estate and can present clearance issues.
    Bob Hoover's suggestion about going 1:1 can help you envision what you are trying to accomplish - just check a section at a time - not the whole layout at once.
    Even though I have the general plan for my layout laid out to scale, I'm certain that once I have the space ready for benchwork, I will end up making some adjustments to accomodate structures for appearance purposes and you no doubt will find yourself doing the same.

    Keep at it - you will succeed! GO MANNY, GO!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2010

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Thank you Keith. That really means a lot to me. I really am enjoying and want to do her proud. There are a great bunch of Frisco Folks here and I have learned so much in the short time I have been on board.

    I will definitely do the 1:1 thing. I'm sure that what is on computer may need a little adjusting in the real world.

    Looking at this map, doing it by hand laid rail really presents a challenge. I have hooked up with an individual in Missouri who builds the turnouts for very reasonable prices and guarantees their success.

    Everyone here has treated me really well and I appreciate it. I hope to begin bench work and track work in February/March.

    Thanks again for the kind words and if you see anything that should be changed or adjusted, or if I am making a mistake, please do not hesitate.

    Wishing all a great and prosperous New Year!

    Thanks again!

  8. SteveM

    SteveM Member Supporter

    Manny, I hope you have remembered to take time to eat and sleep. You are really churning it out. What is the software?
    San Antoinio with five track class yard: local deliveries, SP, T&P, Branch line, Northbound. That works!
    A little busy between main and the aisle; maybe one of those tracks could go away. Make sure the next to longest train can get out of the way of the longest and spot the depot or whatever so you have good access to the classification ladder.
    Yoakum looks strange. Stuff on both sides of the main may not be a problem for the amount of activity, but it's hard to understand what some of the tracks are doing. Lots of runarounds, especially with that connection from main to ladder, but no clear passing siding. Also the second connection on the left side between SA and Yoakum, since I can't think of an appropriate empties in-loads out situation.
    Possible the Yoakum operator would actually stand outside the plan at the top? That way three people might be working at once. Buildings on the long sidings upper right might affect reaching the main and yard.
    Make sure the SP staging will hold the contemplated train. Sounds like you like the idea of having the other two railroads with their own distinctive smaller power, transfer cabeese.
    It may be a stretch to say you're modeling San Antonio in that space, but you are just terminating in a city that is already served by two Class I roads, so your business is limited, made feasible only by superior service.

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Haha Steve,

    I printed your image out last night and looked it over for a few hours. I was so excited. I was amazed at what you offered. I began working on it late this morning and finished a little while ago. Food? Sleep? What is food or sleep?

    I will need to absorb it and take it all in. Right now, I'm just trying to imagine train movements. I will post a picture up of Yoakum yard from the SA&AP blue prints I have. It's rather interesting.

    On a side note, I may have a larger room to work with so I may be able to stretch things a little bit. I won't add anything, but may make subtle changes and space the operations out a little.

    Things will unfold during January. Rest assured, pics will be heavy and I will do a nice write up on everything so that we can all share. Hopefully this will help encourage others. If I can do it, anyone can. I appreciate everyone's help and thank the Lord above for such kind folks!

    God bless and Happy New Year!


    SAFN SAAP Member

    Oh yeah, the software is Anyrail 4.10.2

  11. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

    Does anyone plan a layout anymore with a pencil and a sheet of paper?? :confused:


    SAFN SAAP Member

    I used to use a stencil that had all the track, curves, switches, wye's, railroad crossings at grade, etc., on it. That with a pencil and a piece of graph paper. Now I've just simply gone electronic because it is more accurate than by stencil and saves you money in not having to purchase excess materials.

    To each their own, but I do appreciate the old school just as much as the new. In some regards, I find the new too limiting.
  13. bob_wintle

    bob_wintle Member Supporter

    I too have been enjoying this thread. I have a couple of thoughts. If I understand your layout plans correctly it looks to me as if you intend on ducking under the layout to get to the center penesula. I think you may very well want to design either a lift out section or a gate to get into the center aisle way. Maybe you have already have this in mind and if so I apologise for missing that. Take it from this guy, ducking under as one gets older really takes away from your enjoyment of the layout.
    Keep up the great work and most importantly keep enjoying yourself and this wonderful hobby.
    Bob Wintle
    Duck underless for the last couple of years.
  14. steinjr

    steinjr Member

    Oops - 100 feet x 87 is of course 8700 feet, not 870 feet. So it represents about 1.6 miles in reality, not 1/8 of a mile.

    Doesn't change the core of my argument - that we seldom have enough room on our layouts to model true to scale more than one small town, and thus we need to make a careful selection of what highlights we want to include, how we compress the things we include and how we imply stuff instead of modeling them outright.

  15. Rick McClellan

    Rick McClellan 2009 Engineer of the Year

    I do. More important than the pencil is the eraser.

  16. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Count me in. I'm too cheap to spill for software. I'd rather spend those funds on the stuff that runs or goes onto the layout. :)
  17. Rick McClellan

    Rick McClellan 2009 Engineer of the Year

    Right on my brother.
  18. steinjr

    steinjr Member

    Mmmm - you could potentially combine several elements and get the interchange functionality of the place Steve called San Antonio Junction, plus more of a town with a small yard, by modeling the junction in a simpler way.

    Here I have taken the schematic of the town of Shiner (just to have something to work from), and added a nearby junction.


    Interchange would consist of having some passing train drop off some cars for the T&P on some available track in Shiner before continuing onwards on it's route.

    The T&P comes out of staging through "Shiner junction", backs into "Shiner" (you can of course call these places something else), picks up outbound interchange cars, drops off inbound interchange cars, runs around it's cars, backs down the mainline past "Shiner junction" and departs heading back to where it came from (i.e. into staging).

    Other things that can be done in this little town:
    - train meets. If necessary when two longer trains meet, the inferior train could be split and put into two sidings for the meet
    - passenger trains
    - local switching

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2010
  19. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter


    I would like to make a suggestion in this regard that may or may not fit into your plan. Several of us that are using the linear approach use Atlas Code 83 track and turnouts. Carrying this one step further, we try and use the #6 Super Switches (#505 and #506) as they look more realistic than the Custom Line ones. They are readily available from discount pushers and are very reliable. The downside is of course the appearance and since you are modeling an early era this might not be a desirable approach. The other alternative in your case would be to use Micro Engineering Code 70 for your main line and turnouts and Code 55 fo your industrail spurs. This may be the track that you were referring to since it is made in Missouri. When detailed and painted properly, you will be hard pressed to tell it fom handlaid!

    While we are on that subject there is a new book on the market that I highly recommend to you or anyone else on this forum. It is entitled "How to Build a Switching Layout" by Lance Mindheim. It is only available on Amazon and here is the link:

    Why buy this book? It is very simple and straight forward and one could build a very reliable layout from start to finish by just using its techniques. The track section to you would be worth the cost of the book.

    Just a few more suggestions for you to ponder and hopefully not lose any sleep over.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2011

    SAFN SAAP Member

    As always Bob, I appreciate your input and friendliness. I will take a look at that book.

    I have thought of the code issue on the rails. I've been told that code 70 is really the minimum you should run. Code 55 can lead to derailments because of the flanges, even at RP25. Is there any truth to this?

    I know what you are saying about the track. My heart is really set on hand laid rail. This choice is strongly favored because I have control over the ties. The SA&AP did not exactly adhere to the tie spacing like other railroads. Do I replicate this, or accept the modeling necessity and go with the flow? Interesting, huh?

    As for the layout, I may have a larger room to work in. That will give me a chance to stretch the width a bit and get more main line travel between SA and Yoakum.

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